OSU-Cascades rolls out fall plan focusing on flexibility, student safety

New technology is being installed in all 24 classrooms at OSU-Cascades as the university plans for a fall term that combines traditional in-person learning with fully-remote opportunities.

It’s part of an overall focus on flexibility and safety for students and instructors across the campus.

In the 263 courses offered this fall, faculty plan to teach using a variety of formats.

These include a combination of in-person and remote instruction; mostly remote teaching with a few significant in-person class activities; or fully remote instruction.

About 80% of the fall courses will have an in-person instruction component for those students who want it.

“A key element of our plan is flexibility,” said Becky Johnson, vice president of OSU-Cascades. “We need to ensure that we can adapt quickly to provide any level of campus operation for our students and employees, should public health conditions change. This plan provides for that flexibility.”

OSU-Cascades’ plans for fall term are in keeping with OSU’s Pandemic Resumption Plan and include a six-point public health strategy.

The public health strategy was developed in collaboration with the university’s Continuity Management Team.

It includes preventive measures such as weekly prevalence testing, physical distancing measures, and a requirement for face coverings; access to individual testing; contact tracing in partnership with Deschutes County Health Services; self-isolation when necessary; containment; and student access to care.

On campus, several measures will support physical distancing, including placing desks six feet apart in classrooms, extending transition time between classes to avoid hallway crowding, and adding new directional signage within buildings.

“With an average class size of 18 students at OSU-Cascades, we’re fortunate that we can provide students the interaction they value with teaching faculty and researchers and support those who seek remote learning, all while strictly following public health guidelines,” said Andrew Ketsdever, dean of academic affairs.

Single occupancy rooms are being offered to residential students.

The residence hall will house up to 150 students this fall. Rooms will also be available should a student need to self-isolate.

To further reduce the potential spread of the virus, campus conference and meeting room rental services are suspended, and dining and coffee operations will be limited to members of the campus community.

“This fall will feel different from others, but we are committed to providing students an excellent academic experience, not delaying their progress as they pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree, and preparing them to contribute to their career fields after they graduate,” said Johnson.

A Fall Term 2020 website provides additional information for students and their families.

The website will be updated as OSU-Cascades confirms viable levels of on-site instruction and activity.

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